Jordan: cost of hosting Iraqis estimated at $2.3 bln 2008-02-13 16:40:26   Print

Special report: Tension escalates in Iraq     

    AMMAN, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iraqis residing in Jordan had cost the country 1.6 billion Jordanian dinars (about 2.3 billion U.S. dollars) over the past three years, the English-daily Jordan Times reported on Wednesday.

    Jordan has been coping with a considerable burden while hosting hundreds of thousands of Iraqi nationals and deserves more help, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres was quoted as saying.

    Antonio Guterres paid a one-day visit to Jordan Tuesday and held talks with Jordanian King Abdullah and Prime Minister Nader Dahab.

    He committed to continuing to urge the international community for direct assistance to Jordan so it can sustain the substantial services being offered to Iraqi refugees.

    Guterres assured the Jordanian government that his agency will maintain, "if not increase," its support for Jordan this year.

    The agency is considering extending new support for water and sanitation services in the areas that have dense Iraqi populations, said the report.

    In January, the UNHCR appealed for 261 million dollars for programs to "support the most vulnerable of the uprooted inside and outside Iraq."

    The agency estimated that more than 2 million Iraqis have fled their homeland for safety abroad to wait out the war, with more than 700,000 and 1.2 million spilling into neighboring Jordan and Syria respectively.

Editor: Jiang Yuxia
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